Bass Pro Shops denied US Equal Employment allegations
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that the company discriminated against
African-American and Hispanic candidates in its employment practices and
that he retaliated against employees. The EEOC filed a federal trial on Wednesday claiming that the fishing tackle retail giant discriminated against minority applicants and employees and retaliated against those who spoke out.
“The EEOC’s allegations are contrary to our deep respect for and
commitment to our team of experienced and knowledgeable associates, and
we are determined to prove them wrong,” said Mike Rowland, Vice
President of Human Resources. “Respect for our associates and our customers
is at the heart of our company’s mission, and it has been a key element
contributor to our success.
Bass Pro said it was extremely disappointed with the EEOC’s decision to
“The company has cooperated with the EEOC throughout its
investigation, providing abundant documentation and many
witnesses,” Rowland said. “Bass Pro strenuously denies the EEOC
allegations that the Company engaged in unlawful destruction of documents.
It is our policy to keep all documents required by law. We provided
more than 250,000 pages of documents to the EEOC.
“Despite our cooperation, the EEOC made unrealistic demands during
conciliation. The EEOC can’t or won’t tell us the basis of the
analysis they claim to have conducted. Fundamental Equity
and good faith should require the EEOC to disclose the evidence upon which
his claims are well-founded before filing a complaint which will be long,
costly and inconvenient.
“This investigation and the conduct of the EEOC demonstrate a troubling
tendency of the EEOC to stereotype those who enjoy outdoor sports and
support conservation as people who unlawfully discriminate or oppose
equal opportunities for all. For example, EEOC staff
investigators have repeatedly suggested that because Bass Pro
sponsors a NASCAR racing team, the company is more likely to discriminate
“Furthermore, EEOC staff raised questions about Bass Pro’s policy
against hiring convicted felons, claiming it discriminates against
some minority groups, although federal regulations prohibit
criminals convicted of handling firearms, and Bass Pro sells firearms,
ammunition and explosives.
“Bass Pro has long been an important supporter of many young
development and conservation programs that provide outdoor opportunities for
diverse downtown youth. As we challenge these baseless injustices
fees, we want to assure the millions of people from all walks of life
lives who visit our stores every year that Bass Pro will continue to
deliver the unique experience they expect. And we will do so while fully respecting the law.